Tuesday, June 20, 2017

June 20, 2017

Night coming on, a sort of pale Prussian blue silvered in some inexplicable way.  Weeded for an hour, came in to itch for an hour from the mosquito bites. Some plants planted last year and which I thought were no-shows bloom this year, Patience, patience. A red bloom appears above my waterlilies. Alex alerted me to the existence of Richmond Hill Park. I sought it our this morning on my way to the studio. I got out of the car and had walked three or four minutes, and reached the border between sun and shadow-- the open, almost wild meadow, where the thistle and the ragweed still gleamed with dew– when I felt my chest unclenching as though I had been administered some honeyed opiate. The blood ran cool in my limbs. . . I felt relaxed maybe for the first time since returning from Venice. I realized what was happening. I continued into the woods– a beautiful young woods, even if overgrown with poison ivy– and said to the spirits there, “Come into me. Come in. Come. Possess me. Leave no space for anything else. Fill me.” And they did.  I could not make the demon depart by wishing it, by willing it, by praying for it, by concentrating on fierce opposition, but I thought if I invited light to crowd out the uninvited shadow, that it may work. Small light drives away vast shadow. It did work. It has worked. The evil visions the demon imposed are replaced by a tulip tree standing in pure light, by a field of flowers, by the tangle of deep trees, by blue sky paled with morning cloud. Possession confounded by possession. Even the way my skin feels is different, not prickled constantly from the inside by the half-formed but ever-present sensations of horrible shapes and deformities. I feel as a man; I feel the way I look for the first time in months. If I can keep this up, if I can attend to the blessed spirits and starve the demon of all attention, I may crawl forever back among the living. For this day I have been blessed. Watched a man practicing Extreme Frisbee, then a young father bring his son to watch him practice. He was the most excellent father, caressing his child with his voice, never letting a teaching opportunity go by. I thought blessed. Sat at a picnic table and wrote a poem. Continued to the studio and painted well. Going to try to get to bed tonight sober and before 3 AM.

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